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Kickboxer who KO'd Israel Adesanya talks about his MMA future

Alex Pereira knocked Israel Adesanya out cold in their rematch
Alex Pereira knocked Israel Adesanya out cold in their rematch
Johny Payne
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 05 Oct 2020, 04:08 IST
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The combat sports community has lately been abuzz with speculation regarding the possibility of Israel Adesanya's archrival, reigning GLORY Middleweight and Interim Light Heavyweight Champion Alex Pereira, potentially competing in MMA.

Pereira holds a 2-1 MMA record, but hasn’t competed in the sport for quite some time. This has led many to believe that he could be uninterested in pursuing a career in MMA and would rather stick to kickboxing.

Nevertheless, the talented striker has recently expressed interest in making a serious effort towards competing in the MMA dominion.

Alex Pereira claims that Israel Adesanya wouldn’t want to fight him again

Speaking to BJPenn.com, Alex Pereira opened up on a myriad of topics.

Most prominently, Pereira addressed the possibility of him fighting the current UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya.

Pereira has faced Adesanya in the sport of kickboxing not once but twice, and has defeated the latter on both occasions. Pereira beat Adesanya via unanimous decision in 2016 and then by way of KO in 2017.

The second matchup between Pereira and Adesanya took place at the Glory of Heroes 7 event in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It saw Pereira finish Adesanya with a brutal left hook in round three of their fight.

The Brazilian striking savant is hailed as the only fighter to ever knock out Adesanya, and considering that, a trilogy fight between the two top-tier combatants has often been discussed as a dream matchup in the combat sports world. 

Alex Pereira explained that prior to Israel Adesanya’s fight against Paulo Costa the former had warned that it’d be a tough fight.

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Pereira added that he’s fought Adesanya twice and knows how dangerous the latter is. He asserted that Adesanya is tough, very smart, agile, and a complete fighter in both kickboxing and MMA.

Furthermore, Pereira explained that Costa has been doing well in his career thus far and could’ve beaten Adesanya. He added, however, that Adesanya was a bad stylistic matchup for Costa.

Pereira continued that Costa needed to bring about some changes in order to have defeated Adesanya.

Additionally, with regard to a possible fight between him and Adesanya, Pereira stated:

“I don’t think Adesanya would be interested in that fight. I beat him twice and I’m the only man to KO him. We never know what the future holds. It could happen someday.”

Moreover, Pereira emphasized that he continues training both striking and grappling, ensuring that he has a well-rounded MMA skill-set, but also noted that striking still remains his bread and butter.

Pereira highlighted that he’s focused on his kickboxing pursuits in the Middleweight and Light Heavyweight divisions as well as superfights, all in the GLORY kickboxing organization.

The man regarded by many as Israel Adesanya’s nemesis, Alex Pereira, added that his current contract with GLORY allows him to compete in MMA bouts in LFA (an MMA league associated with the UFC) twice a year.

Pereira pointed out that he aims to unify the GLORY Light Heavyweight Title by beating Artem Vakhitov and then compete in superfights against Badr Hari and Rico Verhoeven.

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Will Alex Pereira clash with Israel Adesanya for the third time?

Whether or not Alex Pereira fights Israel Adesanya in their rubber match – be it in the kickboxing or MMA sphere – depends largely on Pereira improving his grappling skills and working his way up the rankings in MMA.

Israel Adesanya is unlikely to return to kickboxing in the immediate future and seems to be aiming for MMA fights in the Middleweight and Light Heavyweight divisions as well as a super-fight with Jon Jones who’s now set to debut in the Heavyweight division.

Do you think Israel Adesanya can avenge his losses to Alex Pereira? Sound off in the comments.

Published 05 Oct 2020, 04:08 IST
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